Paabo won the prize for his discoveries about the genomes of extinct hominids and humans.
It was the first prize to be given. Notable contributions in a variety of fields are recognized by the Nobel Prizes.
The committee said that Paabo achieved something seemingly impossible by decoding the Neanderthal genome, an extinct relative of present day humans.
New understanding of our evolutionary history has been created by Paabo's discoveries.
David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian received the prize for their discoveries about how people sense heat, cold, touch and body movements.
On Tuesday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences will award the physics prize. Four people won for their work on climate change last year.
The winner of the chemistry prize will be announced on Wednesday. Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan won last year for their development of a new tool that spurred research into new drugs and reduced the effects of chemistry on the environment.
The Swedish Academy will announce the winner of the literature prize. The winner last year was Abdulrazak Gurnah, who spoke about the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures.
The winner of the peace prize will be announced on Friday. Maria Ressa and Dmitri A. Muratov won for their work in the fight for press freedom.
The Swedish Academy will announce the winner of the economic sciences prize next week. The prize went to three people last year.
The prizes will be streamed live by the organization. The prizes will be presented at a ceremony in December.